Of late my boys have tested me with misbehaviour in a high frequency. In the last fortnight my eldest boy has been showing signs of becoming a lot more head strong than his mother. My younger baby bear is just a natural at having no thread of patience. From just a few months old he was named the ‘Hangry One’. The moments where he doesn’t get his own way he will slap the wall, the floor, the fridge, and even the dog if he just happens to be there. Sometimes I can’t help but chuckle even though I’m really over it. Behaviour problems are so much easier to deal with at home. My children are very well behaved when we are out and about. So much so it brings me to a point where I think people won’t believe me if I complain about tantrums at home.
As a mum of two now I look back often at the time when I had one baby bear. I remember people would always ask if he was my first. When my response was
“yes” they’d get the ‘oh that explains it’ look on their faces. Meaning one child is so easy to deal with…wait till you have more *insert evil grin here*. As I’m faced with challenges by my children’s behaviour problems on a daily basis I think about this a lot. I think about how much easier it was with one baby bear. All my time was for one child. I didn’t have to battle with managing my time between two seeking all of my attention. Therefore I was able to put full effort into dealing with the challenges and jumping over the hurdles without too many stumbles.
What was the event that sparked this topic for writing you ask? It was a couple of big tantrums by my big baby bear. Both occurred during pick up time at his Kindergarten. Each occasion was during the afternoon play time like every other time. The second big tantrum was a big hit to the system for me, both emotionally and physically. My boy yelled, cried, pushed me and just wouldn’t listen to me. I kept trying to calm him down and got down to his level like I always do. As I was trying to get him to stand still he was throwing his arms around and still pushing and shoving. Then there was a thud. My nose got in the way of his head.
It was a force like I never felt before. There was a thud and a sound of a snap as tears instantly started rolling down my face. It didn’t take long for the swelling to begin and I started to worry that at the ripe age of 38 I had a broken nose. Well on the bright side I lasted that long in life without one!!!
I don’t know if my nose is broken or if it just bruised a little. But I know that I was an emotional wreck when it happened. All I could think about is what part of my parenting choices is leading my child to this behaviour problem. What am I doing wrong? Am I doing anything right? Yes tantrums are normal and we should expect them from our children. But they come in all different levels and this level I completely did not expect from my child.
A distinct part of my childhood was not always getting what I wanted. I remember I just couldn’t fathom how all the children around me had more and did more than me. I envied the other children’s lifestyles. Feeling left out all the time made me develop a low self-esteem. This is not what I want for my boys.
As parents my husband and I work together in figuring out what’s best for our boys. The upbringing of our children will be the foundation of the adults they are to become. Our style of parenting includes trying to give them a variety of opportunities at different life experiences. So far I’ve been very weary of over giving, especially with gifts at birthdays, Easter and Christmas. But maybe I haven’t really thought this through with every other little detail in our daily lives. I’m starting to wonder now about the ‘less is more’ concept. Is my parenting style causing the behaviour problems?
I was feeling confused and upset about my boy’s behaviour problems before I received a beautiful reassuring message from a dear friend. It opened up my eyes to how my reaction to this big tantrum was not helping. I read it over and over again. It all started to sink in and part of the advice was something I usually go by. But this time I let my emotions get in the way when my baby bear needed me most. I’m actually tearing up as I write this now.
The message I received started off with this; “wait for them to calm down and then find out why, they probably won’t know why”. But this time I didn’t do this. I was focused on my pain, the hurt in my nose, the embarrassment and just the actual fact that it happened again.
“As long as they understand it’s not good behaviour. Behaviour problems will come, it’s the way we deal with them that helps or hinders the child’s growth. I know you are a loving caring mum, and you have good examples in your parents. They will be fine, you will be fine!!”
Pass me a box of tissues…
So much support in a few words from a mother (and grandmother) herself lifted the heaviness I was feeling in my heart. This message brought clarity to my thinking. It brought sense back to me and wisdom to find strategies that could help my boy to be happy again.
Another beautiful friend called me and shared some of her own experiences with me. She listened to me and offered me new suggestions of ways to deal with the tantrums. Again, my mood was lifted and I found myself looking at everything in a better perspective.
There is nothing wrong with my child throwing a tantrum here and there. I shouldn’t be upset that it happens. I should focus on why my child is reacting in that way and help him overcome the issue that is the cause. It’s important that I remember too that there won’t always be a ‘Why’. It’s a normal part of growing up. I’m their mother and if I can’t be there for them in these circumstances then how will they get through the toughest part of their lives. Childhood!
Behaviour problems are a given for any childhood. I am Mum and my children seek comfort from me very often. This is one of my favourite parts of motherhood. And so, hugs are a powerful medicine for healing most wounds.